segunda-feira, 12 de janeiro de 2015

Review: Murder Most Unladylike, by Robin Stevens

Murder Most Unladylike: [A Wells And Wong Mystery #1] 
by Robin Stevens 
Release year: 2014 
Pages: 352 
Editor: Random House Children's Publishers UK
When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up their very own deadly secret detective agency at Deepdean School for Girls, they struggle to find any truly exciting mysteries to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia's missing tie. Which they don't, really). But then Hazel discovers the Science Mistress, Miss Bell, lying dead in the Gym.

Rating: 4/5

I personally blame Enid Blyton for my love of boarding school books. That being said there's something about a plot setup against a boarding school that just catches my eye. I specially like all girls boarding schools because I like female main characters, I believe they have so much to offer. I also love crime novels which means that for me this book was a match made in heaven.
I have been meaning to read a crime novel for quite sometime now but I also wanted to read a good children / teen book. Murder Most Unladylike was just the right thing so I could kill two birds with one stone. This is also the first book in the Wells and Wong Mystery series and two more books are expected to hit the shelves on 2015, the second one in January 29th and the third one in July 30th.
Daisy and Hazel have a Detective Society together that is, of course, most secret and they go around the school solving petty mysteries that don't match their capacities, this is until the day Hazel discovers their Science Mistress dead on the Gym and the body mysteriously disappears before anyone (but Hazel) has the chance to see it. Now the whole school thinks Miss Bell has left for a better job except for the Detective Society who, for the first time in forever, have a true crime in their hands.
I have to admit I really enjoyed reading this novel. It's not absurdly complicated and there's some elements of luck to it that aren't abused of after all one has to think about the setting (time and space) which is rather limited, a boarding school isn't that big (this isn't Hogwarts we are talking about), and the fact that the book takes place in 1934 helps to create a more slow atmosphere for developments (no Google for you Hazel!).
I also enjoyed that Daisy and Hazel were well written for their ages, with the typical teen/friend fights and quick reconciliations, and without some mystical understanding "beyond their years" that some characters tend to have in novels. All and all the plot was well developed, even if sometimes it seemed to go stale (after all you don't make ground breaking discoveries everyday) and the whole subtle sub-plot left me wonder if there was anything else happening in Deepdean School for Girls.
And you figure out the crime you will be rather surprised! (I was!) Which was good because sometimes you can have a lot of built up for nothing which wasn't the case.
As I said in the beginning of this review this is the first book in a series and I am now very curious as to see what Daisy and Hazel have in store in Arsenic for Tea and First Class Murder both already in my "to-read" list.
The only thing I have to complaint about is how the american cover is pink? Why is it pink when it's so pretty in blue? Where they trying to make this a "girlish" book? I really have no idea. I love the blue cover and I also rather enjoyed the silhouette theme (that keeps on going for covers two in three in yellow and red).
The 29th January can't come soon enough so I can get my hands on the second volume of this series!

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